Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Little Time Away From School...With 25 Seniors!

It was a chance to visit the exotic-sounding "Thousand Islands" of Indonesia. A 1.5 hour boat ride from Jakarta to a small island. Time for snorkling. Visit a sea turtle hatchery. Study a mangrove area. Do some "coral transplanting". Sounded great, so I said, "yes" I will be glad to chaperone.

And as a bonus, the other participants would include 25 seniors, most of whom had severe sleep disorders. Actually they were a pretty good group. The field trip was well planned so that they were quite busy on a variety of activities.

The highlight of the trip was certainly snorkling on the reefs. Love that warm water. The most discouraging part was certainly the boat ride out of Jakarta. The plastic junk in the water was so bad that three times we had to stop the boat and "untangle" the propellers. The water looked like a huge jet had crashed scattering debris everywhere. It was like driving through a junk yard or garbage dump. The further away from Jakarta we drove, the better, but even an hour away we were still awash in junk. I guess that's what a city of 15 million people can do to the coast.

I don't like to think that I contributed to the junk, but of course I did. I don't mean that I threw my plastic water bottle into the water...of course I'm more sophisticated than that. I put my garbage into nice, clean garbage bags and then take it to a nice, clean garbage can in front of my house. And then sometime early in the morning when I'm still asleep it "disappears". Well, maybe it doesn't exactly disappear. Maybe people throw it onto their big truck along with other people's garbage and then the truck people take all that garbage and dump it somewhere. Maybe even in the ocean. But at least I didn't throw my garbage there. Someone else threw it there for me. That's better, isn't it? I guess my other option would be to recycle as much as I can and waste as little as I can and clean up all that I can to at least minimize my negative impact since I can't eliminate my negative impact.

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